My daughter and I discuss her assignments for her World Issues class. Her deep heart expresses itself through her choices: modern slavery, child soldiers, invisible victims of war in Northern Uganda, the ignored plight of the southern Sudanese. Two years before my other daughter did projects on the genocide in Rwanda, won acclaim for her film about the needs in Kenya, spent a Christmas in an orphanage in Kenya. This summer both daughters returned to their childhood home in Uganda, on their own, reconnecting with former playmates who today are successful, healthy and happy.
I continue to battle for professional and financial survival back in small town Ontario. Gone are my missionary days, when I was free to work without pay, create and carry through projects, help various poor friends, respond to needs on our doorstep. Even gone are the days of sitting by the bedside of the daughter of a friend dying of AIDS, through no fault of her own, weeping with her friends and family. I shall never forget the day I arrived at the home of another friend in time to see her shrivelled body placed in a rough wooden coffin. In four years she had gone from a bouncy vital laughing woman to a tiny shrunken drug crazed victim of AIDS. I didn't know the reason, but I saw the horror before my eyes.
In those days I felt connected to world issues. I lived among them and made my offering in these various ways.
Now I wonder how to do that. Yes, I support other missionaries, yes I helped my daughter adopt her own foster child, yes I am training to help people in the western world with their private agonies. I see misery and pain before my eyes every time I go supply teaching. What is my offering? I have been a Sunday school teacher and now a worship leader. I go to Worship conferences, not conferences on AIDS and world issues.
Now I have a little platform on this blog, and on my own personal blog. I have reflected much on God's gracious work in my own heart, His healing presence in my own life. Yes, it has blessed others. But what does it have to do with these huge world issues?
Each time I have attended Christian concerts with my daughters or worship conferences with famous worship leaders I have been so impressed at how they used their platform to address world issues. They themselves have not been able to serve as missionaries for long periods of time. Their calling is to lead worship, to write songs, to give glory to God through their music and words. But they have realized their power, and used it to point their audiences to these needs.
I was reminded again of that power when I found this video from one of my favourite worship bands, Third Day. I share it now with you. As we move into Advent, preparing for Christmas, it is indeed a fitting time to remember what is going on in the wider world, and do what we can, each day, through prayer, or whatever other means, to do our part, as God leads.
For me, today, on this platform, I give this offering.